Ex-Laker Brickowski Dishes on $2M Gambling Game in Michael Jordan's Hotel Room

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 16, 2020

FILE - In this Jan. 14, 2012 file photo, Charlotte Bobcats basketball team owner Michael Jordan watches during the first half of an NBA basketball game between the Charlotte Bobcats and the Golden State Warriors in Charlotte, N.C. Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012. President Barack Obama is joining with NBA legend Michael Jordan and an array of basketball stars to raise money for his re-election campaign later this month. The Obama campaign is planning a fundraising
Chuck Burton/Associated Press

Former NBA center Frank Brickowski said Friday he once walked into Michael Jordan's hotel suite to see the remnants of a $2 million night of gambling.

Brickowski told John Canzano of the The Oregonian he accompanied fellow NBA player Charles Oakley to the room at 9 a.m. one morning and was amazed at the scene:

"Charles Oakley comes up behind me and grabs me and we laugh. He gets a phone call and he says, 'I'm talking with Brick,' and then he says to me, 'Let's go.' So I just follow him out the door, we go to this other tower and we go up and we go to Michael's suite and he has a gambling game still going on from the night before. It's nine o'clock in the morning and I look around the room and all I see is piles of cash. My mind goes to, 'We'll put sleeping gas under the door, everyone will get knocked out and we'll split the profits.' I saw Oakley later that night and said, 'Oak, how much money was in that room? There must have been a million dollars in that room.' He held up two fingers—there was $2 million in cash in that room."

Jordan's high-stakes cards games and golfing wagers have been spotlighted throughout ESPN's The Last Dance documentary about the 1990s Chicago Bulls that has been airing weekly since April 19. A clip of a 1993 interview with Connie Chung was shown where he denied having an addiction.

"I can stop gambling," he said. "I have a competition problem, a competitive problem."

Brickowski explained getting an up-close look at the situation didn't change his opinion of Jordan, per Canzano.

"Michael had a propensity to gamble, he could afford to gamble," he said. "You can say if that's a problem or not, or judge him, but I don't judge him. The guys who made the money and enjoyed the gambling, it gave them a way to escape from the game and the grind. Michael is a normal dude if he's in a safe environment and he creates the safe environment."

Brickowski played for the Seattle SuperSonics, Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs, Milwaukee Bucks, Charlotte Hornets and Boston Celtics during a 12-year NBA career.

The 60-year-old New York native works as a regional representative for the National Basketball Players Association.